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Can Sears New Mobile App Improve its Stormy Situation?

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Sears mobile app

Mobile is where it’s at—and Sears is doing its best to blur the lines between digital and in-store shopping.

The 129-year-old retailer, which has lost billions in revenue in recent years, on Monday revealed a refreshed mobile app experience in an effort to make holiday shopping more convenient for its customers.

“In 2015, we’ve seen more than a third of our online traffic come from a mobile phone—a 46 percent increase from last year,” Leena Munjal, senior vice president of customer experience and integrated retail at Sears Holdings, said in a statement. “Mobile devices are so much a part of our members’ lives and they’re not only researching and sharing, they’re also buying. So it’s more important than ever to have a robust, simple-to-use shopping app with features and services that no other major retailer offers.”

In addition to expanding its suite of in-store and mobile shopping services, Sears also lowered the minimum purchase threshold for free shipping on qualifying orders from $49 to $35. Plus, for a limited time, members of the retailer’s Shop Your Way rewards program who download or refresh the app will get $5 in points on their next purchase of $15 or more.

Other key features of the updated app include free shipping on orders placed while in-store; free in-vehicle pickup, return and exchange of online orders offered at any Sears store in five minutes or less; complete layaway management; and the ability to find, load and redeem eCoupons.

The retailer is also offering shoppers the changes to play the Wheel of Fortune Holiday Puzzler directly on the app for a chance to win $1,000 in Sears gift cards every day through Dec. 11.

But can an improved mobile experience improve Sears’ stormy situation? The company posted yet another quarter of poor results last week, reporting that comparable store sales slipped 8.6% during the three months ended Oct. 31 as same-store sales declined 7.5% and 9.6% at Kmart and Sears Domestic respectively.

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